This is my all-time favorite for brainstorming vocabulary and introducing new vocabulary.
- Explain that you are going to brainstorm vocabulary by saying “I am going to say a topic and you have 2 minutes to write down all the words you can think of connected to the topic. If I say “animals” you can write “dog, cat, doghouse, cat food, bear….”. Also explain they will get 2 points for each English word they write and 1 point for each word in their first language. This is important so we know where the “holes” in their vocabulary are.
- Start your timer, give the topic and begin (I also make a list, including more obscure words).
- After the time is up, explain that you are going to now check the words and the person with the most points for UNIQUE answers wins. In other words, the first person’s first word is “dog” and if someone else has this word, the word is out and can not be used by anyone. Then go to the next person and they say the first word on their list and the groups says whether or not they also have the word on their own lists.
- This continues until all the words on all the lists have been read (it goes faster as their lists get smaller).
- When someone uses a word the others don’t know, have that person explain it and put it on the board. If someone uses a German word, give the English (or ask the group first if they know the English) and put it on the board.
- Everyone counts up their points and you have your vocabulary champion.